Making the cut.
Your guide to looking like a winner on the links.
Just because you’ve memorized every line from Caddyshack doesn’t mean it should be your source of inspiration when dressing for the links. Whether you’re a scratch golfer or just finding out how enjoyable—and utterly frustrating—golf can be, you should look like you’ve been there before.
The right equipment.
Proper golf attire only looks like your normal clothing. But it’s performance wear, designed to move with you and keep you comfortable over 18 holes. Look for fabrics that wick away moisture, resist wrinkling, and breathe. You never know what the links have in store—rain, wind, heat, humidity—and the right attire will help you look as good buying a round of drinks at the 19th Hole as you did on the practice green.
A round with the boss.
If playing a few rounds is part of your job, then, good for you. It’s not a bad way to spend a workday. Whether you’re paired up with your boss or a client, the same rules apply on the golf course as the office. You need to look professional. Think of it as another version of casual Friday. You’ll want to look relaxed, but not too relaxed. You’re still “at work.” Nothing impresses the boss more or puts a client more at ease than when you look like you know what you’re doing—even if you spend most of the day chasing your slice into the adjacent fairway.
Start with a solid pair of plain-front golf pants. Notice we didn’t say just pants. These shouldn’t be the cotton chinos you wear on the weekends or the trousers you pair with a blazer. Your pants should be made for golf. And keep them trim. You don’t need all the extra fabric flapping in the wind. You’ll actually be able to move a little easier and you’ll look a lot more stylish.
Pair them with a solid golf shirt. Same rules apply to the shirt as the pants—it should be made for golf, not the office. For a chilly morning tee time, layer over a sweater vest or a light jacket. Keep it traditional—argyles and tartans are a good bet.
A weekend round with your buddies.
Eighteen holes with your buddies is all about relaxing—and showing each other up a bit. So get a little more adventurous with your choice of clothing. Brighter colors. Bolder patterns. Less formality. Shorts are more appropriate here, too. And, as before, look for slimmer fits to avoid the blousy look and keep you looking trim.
Don’t be afraid to try some of the styles you see some of the younger PGA players sporting on the tour. If you go with pants, try a bright, solid color—like sky blue. Pair them with a crisp white or black golf shirt and a white belt. If you’re going the shorts route, go with a traditional khaki or black pair. Save the attitude for your shirt and go with stripes or a bold pattern.
Stay away from golf shoes that look like sneakers. Go for a bit more style. A pair of contrasting golf shoes—as traditional as they may be—always look great and will add a bit of personality to your look.
If you’re truly a competitive sort—the type that’s likely to still be in contention on Sunday of a tournament—you’ll want to sport a look that sends a message to the rest of the field. Take a page from Gary Players’ book and go with the no-nonsense, all-black look. Player—nicknamed the Black Knight—made this style famous and fashionable on the tour back in the 50s and 60s. And the look still holds up. There’s nothing more intimidating than looking at the leader board and seeing the man in black making a move.
Give it a modern spin by pairing it with a white belt and contrast black and white golf shoes. Or consider a slight twist on the classic look and go with all navy blue instead of black.
The game is the game. And, let’s be honest, your score is what it is. There’s only so much you do from tee to pin. But you can always look good. So, if you find yourself walking out of the house looking like any of the characters in Caddyshack, take a mulligan. The point is not to get laughs. The point is to look like you know what you’re doing—whether you’re the leader in the clubhouse or stuck in the rough.
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